Preparing for Hurricane Irma
Your Home Builders Association is closely monitoring the path of the approaching storm and the potential effects on our state and our members.
In an effort to provide you members with information on securing job sites throughout the state and protecting your families, friends, pets and personal property prior to any potential weather threat due to Hurricane Irma, the HBA of South Carolina has prepared the checklist and other resources below.
Your HBA is here to provide any assistance that we can in order to keep you safe.
1. Check with local building departments
Many local building inspection departments office hours/inspections schedules may have changed significantly relative to Hurricane Irma. Check to make sure you know their hours of operation and any amended inspections schedule.
2. Secure job site materials
Once it looks like a storm will be passing close enough to a project, it is time for job site personnel to perform critical tasks like securing materials, trash, tools or other debris that can take flight in heavy winds, including items like dumpsters and portable bathrooms. Please reduce your liability by securing any construction equipment and materials that can be thrown around in a heavy windstorm.
- Prepare to shut down all operations at least 36 hours prior to the storm’s intended landfall
- Notify your subcontractors that you are calling a temporary halt to all work
- Store all construction equipment and supplies inside buildings if possible
- Tie down or band together all equipment, tools, supplies, and materials that cannot be secured indoors
- Secure construction debris
- Secure all signage safely indoors if possible or tie it down if it cannot be moved easily
- Take a few moments to double check that all heavy-duty equipment and scaffolding supplies are properly secured to withstand the conditions a hurricane or strong storm will bring
- Turn off the access points for all utilities.
- Make sure that the documentation for your valuables is securely locked awayConsider taking pictures on your phone for additional proof that you have certain possessions
3. Plan for water removal
Planning for water removal also is key. Consider placing pumps in excavations or basements in advance of the storm so that pumping can begin as soon as it is safe to do so. Getting rid of excess water is not only important for project cleanup but also to protect adjacent properties.
4. Ensure the security of the structure
Now that the items on the periphery of the project are secure, it is time to safeguard the structure itself. If the work is a renovation, or if work has progressed on a new building to a point where water can significantly damage the interior, crews should board up any openings and accessible windows and place sandbags around the perimeter.
5. Post Storm Assessment
When the storm has passed and local authorities have given the go-ahead, it is time to return to the project site to assess damage and start to clean up. It is important to use caution when navigating every area of the project site, especially those with standing water, because sharp or jagged debris could pose a danger. It is also essential to use the same care when entering a building after a storm because, depending on the extent of the damage, some structural elements could be compromised.
Be sure to have your insurance agents contact information on hand.
- South Carolina Hurricane Guide
- South Carolina Evacuation Map
- S.C. Emergency Management Division
- American Red Cross Hurricane Preparedness
- S.C. Road Conditions
- National Hurricane Center
- S.C. Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of any help. Our prayers go out to each one of you and your families. Be safe!
Mark Nix, Executive Director, HBASC – 803-917-4846 (m) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Marc Ellis – HBASC Disaster Preparedness Committe Chairman
You also may contact Michael Dey, HBA of Greenville CEO – email@example.com – 803-917-1701 (m)